Centre County Improvements

I-99/I-80 Interchange and Route 322 Completion

There are two major infrastructure projects that Centre County residents, businesses and the Penn State Community have been anticipating for a long time. The completion of Route 322 from Seven Mountains to Boalsburg and the construction of a true interchange at the juncture of I-99 and I-80. Both projects support the growth and commerce of the region. Both projects relieve congestion. Most significantly, both projects will dramatically improve the safe travel of the motoring public. The I-80/I-99 interchange area has had over 200 reported accidents in the past five years. Accidents in the Seven Mountains/Boalsburg corridor can be counted in terms of lost lives.

I_99_I_80_arrowsWhat both projects share is that funding has not been designated in the Penn DOT budgets to move either project forward. Essentially, they are dormant.

322In the interest of moving these projects forward a coalition has been formed of the local Chamber of Commerce the regional MPO (Municipal Planning Organization), Penn State and a number of other interested parties. This group has already engaged with Penn DOT and will continue to raise awareness about their initiative to advance the improvement of these transportation arteries. Safe travels to and from our community will benefit everyone.

On this page we will supply new information about the progress of these efforts as we become aware of the events. Below you will see that information:

The web site of the coalition is: https://driveforwardcc.com

Updates: Below you will find updates of interest concerning these projects.

30 October ’17 http://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/penndot-applying-for-major-grant/847795963
(Article and video concerning activities and grant applications)

11 June ’18

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved PennDOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant application for the construction of a high-speed I-99/I-80 interchange and associated local access options.

Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson made the announcement on Tuesday, June 5.

Through its ‘DRIVE Forward’ initiative, the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County sought to garner broad-based support for this and other major transportation projects critical to safer and more efficient travel to, from and through Centre County. The CBICC, along with a growing group of government, business, community, academic and individual stakeholders, engaged in a sustained, collaborative campaign to help secure federal grant approval.

In letters submitted with PennDOT’s initial grant application; support letters sent to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; and in visits with key congressional leaders and staff in Washington, DC, this collective support was highlighted.

The ‘DRIVE Forward’ initiative demonstrates what can happen when various stakeholders work together to achieve a common goal — in this case, a project that will dramatically reduce traffic congestion and improve motorists safety, and have significant implications for commerce and new business investment opportunities as well.

“The awarding of this $35 million federal grant for the I-99 and I-80 interchange is the result of over three years of collaboration and campaigning. This project is a much needed improvement that will have a widespread effect on both the Central Pennsylvania community, be it the economic, safety and workforce impact, but also the tens of thousands of guests coming to visit. To all the local organizations, municipal authorities, legislators, especially Congressman G.T. Thompson, PennDOT District 2-0 and Leslie Richards, the teamwork with the MPO Committee and Tom Zilla, who supported the DRIVE Forward movement, thank you. When we can agree on an agenda, just as we have on this I-99/I-80 interchange project, we can produce multi-stakeholder wins such as this one. It is a win-win for all of Central Pennsylvania.” -Dan Hawbaker

Special thanks go out to:

U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, 5th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, 10th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, 9th Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, 11th Congressional District
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman
State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
State Rep. Mike Hanna
Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization
Dan Hawbaker/Glenn O. Hawbaker
Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science & Technology
First National Bank
Penn State University
U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards

The ‘DRIVE Forward’ website, www.driveforwardcc.com, will continue to provide project status updates as they are available, and news about other priority transportation projects. You can also sign up as a supporter.